Rancidification of Fats

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rancidification of Fats

 

a change in the composition of fats during storage that makes them unsuitable for food, owing to their extremely rank odor and taste. Rancidification is caused by the appearance of certain volatile aldehydes, ketones, and acids of” low molecular weight, and nonvolatile peroxide substances. It may be biochemical, caused by the formation of molds on the fats, or it may be purely chemical, resulting from the oxidation of fatty acid radicals in glycerides upon exposure to atmospheric oxygen.

To prevent rancidification, fats are prepared under conditions that exclude the possibility of contamination by mold spores. They are thoroughly purified, and preservatives (for example, salt) are added to prevent biochemical rancidification. Fats (butter, margarine) should be stored in well-sealed packages at a temperature of 2°–6°C.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.